Lyubushkin scores in overtime; Sabres top Lightning 6-5

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare #41 of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks for the puck against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at Amalie Arena on February 23, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Imag

Ilya Lyubushkin scored a short-handed goal 1:41 into overtime, helping Tage Thompson and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 on Thursday night.

With Thompson scoring three times in his fourth hat trick of the season, Buffalo led 5-3 early in the third period. After Tampa Bay rallied, the Sabres got the win when Lyubushkin beat Andrei Vasilevskiy on a breakaway for his first goal of the season.

Zemgus Girgensons and Jack Quinn also scored for Buffalo, and Eric Comrie made 36 saves.

The Sabres are in a six-team battle for the two wild-card playoff berths in the Eastern Conference. They ended a seven-game losing streak at Amalie Arena.

Thompson put Buffalo ahead 2-1 in the second period by scoring on the power play, and then made it 3-1 at 12:20 when he took a pass from Jeff Skinner and beat Vasilevskiy on a breakaway. He scored his career-high 39th goal 6:18 into the third, giving the Sabres a 5-3 lead.

But Tampa Bay made it 5-4 when Anthony Cirelli scored at 8:33, and then tied it with 5:06 remaining when Ross Colton scored a power-play goal.

Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Braydon Point also scored for Tampa Bay. Vasilevskiy made 17 saves but his 12-game home winning streak and his personal six-game win streak against the Sabres both ended.

The Lightning took a 1-0 lead 2:19 into the game when Stamkos beat Comrie with a wrist shot on a 2-on-1 rush. But the Sabres tied it at 11:41 on their first shot on goal; Rasmus Dahlin’s shot from the left circle hit Girgensons’ skate in the slot and slid through Vasilevskiy’s five-hole.


Sabres: Visit Florida on Friday.

Lightning: Play the first of back-to-back road games at Detroit on Saturday.